LISTEN: Environment Agency Chair Emma Howard Boyd on what’s next for green policy

In her final speech as Chair of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd has said the next Government must strengthen its focus on policies which deliver net-zero and build greater resilience to climate shocks - not move away from them. Listen in full below.


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LISTEN: Environment Agency Chair Emma Howard Boyd on what’s next for green policy

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Speaking at the Aldersgate Group’s annual Summer Reception on Tuesday (12 July), Howard Boyd said the UK’s infrastructure “must be made more resilient” against “more frequent storms, floods, droughts and heatwaves”.

Howard Boyd, who is due to leave the Environment Agency in September, also said that “environmental regulation must work in lockstep with financial regulation and economic regulation” to ensure incentives and penalties have “enough clout to drive change”.

Howard Boyd said: “In the last six years, I have attempted to draw attention to accelerating threats so that we might embrace the opportunity to make ambitious choices. How we choose to deal with climate change, how we choose to adapt, how we choose to develop the places we live in – these decisions will define what we deliver.

“There are many people in the private sector who think Government will deal with the climate emergency. Yet, there are people in politics who think the private sector will deal with the climate emergency. And this is why independent regulation is vital.

“Robust regulation levels up. Industries we regulate tell us a strong framework of green legislation gives them an economic advantage over global competitors. Operating within England’s environmental regulations should be an assurance to customers and investors that a business is working to some of the highest standards on the planet.

“Everyone here has a role to play in ensuring the next Government strengthens the focus on policies to deliver net-zero in this country and around the world, a nature-positive nation by 2030 and greater resilience to climate shocks.”

Howard Boyd was speaking at the same event which saw Aldersgate Group chair and former Prime Minister Theresa May give an opening address, stating that the net-zero transition and need to restore nature “should be at the top of the Government’s agenda”, imploring the next Tory leader to see sustainability as a solution to – not cause of – the cost-of-living crisis. Read the full story here.

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